- No Man's Sky
- Horizon Zero Dawn
Astria Ascending will take many gamers back to the heyday of classic RPGs. This is a single-player turn-based game that is easy to grasp, with perhaps not enough challenge for veterans of the genre. But with an entertaining story, great musical score, and pleasing art style, there is plenty of enjoyment to be had for any RPG fan. Play Astria Ascending when you want to be completely absorbed into a game with no strings (or services) attached.
Neptunia X Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars will appeal to longtime fans of either series, but outside of that it's an average action-oriented JRPG plus visual novel that anyone can easily get the hang of. There's plenty of titillating fanservice to go around, even if Sony insists on at least some of it being censored for the Western release. It's a safe bet if you can't get enough of Neptunia and the rest of the Goddesses or Asuka and the other shinobi, but otherwise there are more traditional games that are probably a better use of your time.
The Crysis Remastered Trilogy is a great blast from the past. Fans of the series will have a great time replaying these classics, or maybe introducing younger gamers to one of the late aught's can't-miss franchises. It's a shame Saber Interactive didn't have more fun with additional modern features, but this still represents great value. At a launch price of $49.99 USD for all three games, this is a no-brainer for Crysis fans, as well as gamers looking for a lot of first-person shooting action without breaking the bank.
WRC 10 is a safe entry, celebrating the long, rich history of the World Rally Championship, while taking care to not break anything that was already working well. If you missed out on WRC 9, you may be content with picking that up for a bargain (assuming you have a disc-based console). If you want the latest and most up-to-date rally racing simulator, though, then WRC 10 is more than competent at providing a ton of fun for rally fans everywhere.
MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is a lot of fun for fans of the BattleTech franchise. It may not be the flashiest game around, and its story can be very campy at times. But this is pretty much your best bet for playing a 'Mech game on a PlayStation console. If you have (online) friends, co-op will likely provide some extra thrills, and the generous DLC support is great to see. It may be a bit rough around the edges, but MechWarrior 5 is more than welcome on PlayStation after all this time.
Lost Judgment is a subtle improvement on the original, and continues the fun of seeing the seedy sides of Kamurocho and Ijincho while staying mostly on the good side of the law. A new combat style combined with a few more tricks up Yagami-san's sleeves provide more entertaining ways to dispatch or get the upper hand on enemies, and of course the usual slate of minigames offer a much-needed respite from the main campaign's twisted story. It may tread a lot of the same ground as the previous game, but that is absolutely a good thing.
Hoa is a wondrous adventure that can easily be consumed in a day. It'll make you forget about your troubles as the soundtrack lifts you up. Even its climax isn't particularly intense, but the last level is a great change of pace. Though it lacks some of the modern features we take for granted these days, perhaps part of the charm is randomly running through the whole thing again so that you can be reminded of simpler times, when games didn't ask you for more money with flashing ad banners for the latest season pass or premium skin, or fail to even start because of a service being offline. There are longer games priced at $14.99, but none are this pleasing to the senses.
Finally, it seems we have some competition in the superbike video game space. RiMS Racing is a solid start from RaceWard Studio, and they should be proud of what they have built. From here, expanding upon the bike roster should be priority number one, because we are spoiled for choice in other bike racers. Just the thought of this team getting their hands on new bikes to scan, model, and record gets me excited in much the same way as hearing Polyphony Digital does the same thing to add to their roster of cars. You just know it's going to be given the royal treatment! The parts removal/installation mechanic is neat, but a way to speed on past it would be great for those who play games to get away from the more mundane portions of a hobby. One thing is for sure: it's an invigorating time to be a superbike fan, and RiMS Racing is a great example of why.
It's a bit rough around the edges, but Foreclosed's story and style are worth a look, especially for the PS+ launch price of $15.99 ($19.99 normally). When I think of my time spent in Foreclosed, I think it made for a good, short adventure that had me impressed by its presentation, but ultimately left me wanting more. More story, more combat, more world building, more consequences from my actions. Just about the only thing I didn't want more of would be the stealth sections. So, with any luck, the open-ended nature of Foreclosed's endings, combined with enough sales of this game, may result in us seeing a sequel down the line.
Tribes of Midgard has its moments of awe buried in a mountain of grinding. Players who enjoy a long haul to get to sweet rewards will find a lot to love here, especially for only $19.99. Others who don't have the time to invest in yet another survival game will probably want to look elsewhere, though unlocking the Survival mode can make things easy enough to simply enjoy the game on your own terms. Playing with friends is, as usual, the best way to experience this co-op adventure, over and over and over again.
Samurai Warriors 5 is like comfort food for gamers. It's just like you remember, only this time a bit flashier, and with a few extra tweaks to play with. Since it covers Nobunaga's younger years, it's also a great entry in the franchise for new players to pick up. Veterans will no doubt rely on muscle memory to power through the Hard mode, but otherwise this is a fun Musou that anyone can play. Grab a friend and get to slicing!
F1 2021 is the most fun you can have in a Formula driver's cockpit. Braking Point brings the kind of drama you didn't realize you needed in your racing life, even if it does get a little cringeworthy on occasion. This wonderful looking and sounding Formula racer shines on the PS5, even if some of the platform's features are under-utilized at this time. With some sense of normalcy slowly returning to the sporting world at large, F1 2021 represents a great way to follow along with the F1 season while attempting to make a virtual name for yourself, and nowhere else does the sport come alive more than in F1 2021.
Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance has the potential to become a fun showcase for the long-running franchise. Despite the issues, none of these are game-breaking bugs, and it is a passable RPG. Now we just have to see if Tuque Games has what it takes to turn things around. Fans of Dungeons & Dragons, of which there are untold millions, will love the lore and story of Dark Alliance. Who knows if their love of the franchise will translate into enough sales to warrant a sequel? If so, then there is a lot of work to do, but we've seen plenty of comebacks before, and we'll no doubt see more in the future. With any luck, in the not-too-distant future we'll gather 'round the virtual campfire and enjoy a higher-scored adventure in the Icewind Dale thanks to the lessons learned from Dark Alliance.
Neptunia ReVerse improves a few things from the Vita version, but it ultimately feels like a test of things to come. The fishing minigame is the only real use of the DualSense's triggers, and while the game's loading times have been basically erased, that is likely due to the PS5's SSD speed and little else. It helps when the game's assets aren't all that graphically intense to begin with, after all. Neptunia ReVerse plays it safe with a standard JRPG setup for this long-running series, and while it's something fans of the series will have some fun with, it's not necessarily a standout title. Neptune has seen better treatment, but she has also seen worse. Thus, fans could hardly go wrong in picking this re-remake up in the near future.
The Ninja Gaiden Master Collection is a great value for only $39.99. Three frenetic adventures that represent some of the best action games from console generations of the past are bundled, ensuring a lot of content for almost half the price of some AAA games. While the games stand on their own as fun and entertaining, the collection is rather barebones, and the exclusion of co-op or other multiplayer modes is felt throughout. Still, fans of the series, or those looking to become fans, can hardly go wrong with the purchase of this collection.
Manifold Garden sure took its time to reach us, but the wait has been worth it. This is a beautiful puzzle game that stretches your spatial reasoning, but not immensely so. The difficulty could have been increased, but designing and then developing these complex spaces that loop forever was no doubt a huge challenge on its own. Play Manifold Garden to engage your brain in a different method of thinking. While short, completing this puzzler will give you an immense feeling of satisfaction, and it is well worth the $19.99 asking price. Get ready to think with relativity.
Subnautica: Below Zero will grow on you, if you give it time. While the beginning hours aren't nearly as rough as the last time around, a dedicated session or two of several hours is essentially mandatory before the adventure really starts to open up. After that, though, the sense of exploration is fantastic, the story is engaging, and the views can be spectacular. Fans of Subnautica should pick this up as soon as they can, and anyone else interested in exploration-style games should also give it a shot. Subnautica: Below Zero continues in its predecessor's footsteps in all the right ways, with some additions that help make the adventure more accessible. You'll be glad you took the plunge.
The steady improvement of MotoGP continues with MotoGP 21. The move to the PlayStation 5 affords a bunch of benefits inherent to the latest generation of consoles, and having a race load in a handful of seconds is such a nice luxury. The inclusion of the DualSense's haptics is appreciated, as a useful feature to tell when tires are losing their grip. Brake temperature management combines with fuel consumption and tire wearing to increase immersion. It may still not excite much with a lacking presentation, but MotoGP 21 is a solid contender that'll have you feeling like you could almost take to the track yourself. Just, watch those knees, yeah?
If you want to find yourself chuckling at one absurd look at the future of space flight, and can handle yourself in survival games, then by all means check out Breathedge. Its humor may not appeal to everyone, but beyond that the beautiful views of space wreckage mixed with a decent challenge of avoiding death provide for an entertaining couple dozen hours of playtime. Building out a space station is its own reward, as are the in-game rewards. Enjoy yourself out there in the vast nothingness with your immortal chicken, wits, and maybe a wrench or two.
Warframe has now successfully launched on two PlayStation consoles in a row, and both times as a launch title. Once again, this is the place to play if you don't have a PC that can play the game at high settings. The PS5 is also the only place to play where haptic feedback plays into how the game feels. This helps to cement the DualSense controller as less of a gimmick and more of an accessory that enhances gameplay. Even without those enhancements, though, Warframe on the PS5 is a showcase-worthy action game that every console owner has truly free access to. Ninjas play free, after all!